Taming Your Clutter – Easy Tips For Organizing

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Got Clutter?

Spring cleaning season is just around the corner. The weather is getting warmer (sometimes) and the days are getting longer. That sunshine might make you feel like getting up and moving around, but the lingering cold might keep you inside. Attacking the clutter in your house is a great way to prepare for spring cleaning and help you get exciting for the upcoming change in seasons! I’ve put together some easy tips for both catching up and keeping up with the clutter in your home.

Pick a Place to Start

The first thing you should do is pick a place to start. That can be a room, a closet or even something as small as a shelf. The goal is to pick something you can clear out quickly and easily without being overwhelmed. Once you are done with one area, you can move on to another. Just remember to keep the areas that have been finished free of clutter.

Gather Your Clutter in a Bin

Another great idea to help clean your clutter is to place a Bin in the main areas of your home. I use a laundry basket for this. Once per day I have the kids help me and we gather up every item in the room that is out of place and put it into the bin. From there it is easy to make sure things are put into the correct place. Make sure it is empty before you go to bed at night.

Keep a Time Limit

Keeping a time limit on your work can help it to be more manageable. Limit yourself to 15 minutes per day with longer stretches on your days off. By setting limits on the time you can pick an area that can be accomplished in the allotted time. That means you won’t leave things halfway finished. Halfway finished areas rarely stay clean.

Your Clutter Can Be Someone Else’s Treasure!

Choosing what to do with your clutter is a personal preference. Try to be eco-friendly and recycle what you can. Charities will often give tax deductible receipts for donations. You can also have a garage sale, gift items to friends or use your local Freecycle chapter to find new homes for unwanted items.

Prevent Clutter from Happening

Limit the non-essential items in your house. You may have items you hold on to because you love them, but never use them. Find new homes for these items where they will actually be put to use. If you have not used an item in the last several months (other than seasonal items) then it can probably leave the house and you will never miss it. Leave a box in the house and make it a goal to choose one thing each day to get rid of.

Teach Others not to Clutter

Teach your kids to clear their clutter. Teaching your kids from a young age to clean up after themselves can cut down on a lot of extra clutter in your home. If everyone that lives in the house picks up items before they are left in places they don’t belong then you no longer have clutter! This applies to your roommate or significant other as well. Everyone needs to be on board for it to work.

Recycle Bin First

Stop bringing in items that cause problems. Junk mail is one easy step to eliminate. When you walk from the mailbox simply toss the junk mail and opened envelopes in the recycle bin. Also say no to well-meaning friends and relatives that like to give you items. We all know how easy it is to say “I would love to have that” rather than “No thank you”. Don’t worry that you are hurting their feelings – just be honest.

A Clutter Free Home!

These steps will get you started on the path to a clean and clutter free home. They will also give you a great head start for doing the deep cleaning in your home. Do you have some useful tips for clearing out your living space? We’d love to see them in the comments below!

~Jessica

Jessica Wick is one of our very own E3Live employees, she enjoys teaching her three children about organic gardening, has a horse, a goat, 2 dogs and a flock of chickens that also love E3Live!

5 Quick Fixes for Household Clutter

Does an organized space make you feel better?

Reclaim space in your home — and in your mind — by adding smart storage and mastering a few key habits.

A cluttered house can lead to a cluttered mind. Think about it: Every bit of clutter in your home is evidence of a delayed decision — “When can I tackle the mail?” “Where should the sports equipment go?” — that’s nagging you on some level every time you see it. The constant shuffling of material things is a drain on both your time and your mood, and, frankly, all that unnecessary stuff is just weighing you down. While a completely clutter-free home might be a pipe dream until your kids are out of college, there are a few simple things you can do to make your space more streamlined and reduce the time you spend picking up. Who knows what you’ll do with the extra time — maybe write the great American novel? It could happen.

1. Use unexpected storage. Whenever you’re making a furniture purchase, consider how it can help you clear clutter. Think about beds with storage underneath, outdoor benches that hide gardening supplies, side tables with deep drawers for reading material and remotes, and coffee tables or ottomans that open up to double as end-of-the-day dumping grounds.

2. Curtail junk mail. You can get those stacks of mail and catalogs to disappear! First, contact the mail preference service of the Direct Marketing Association to remove your address from direct-mailing lists. You can also call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) to stop receiving credit card offers. Then, make it a habit to walk with your mail straight from the door to the recycle bin. Open it right there, dumping everything you don’t need. Put a plastic pocket or file nearby to toss the handful of items you want to save.

3. Wrangle kid stuff. We all know that kids generate a lot of clutter — but do you have to look at it? Clear plastic over-the-door shoe caddies are a great addition to any kid’s room and can corral all those tiny toys, from figurines to cards to marbles. Zip-up pencil cases, tackle boxes or utensil organizers can neatly hide jewelry, beads, hair bands or art supplies. Set aside a toy box, bench or large bin into which the kids can sweep everything that’s lingering on their floor at bedtime.

4. One in, one out. If you’re serious about clutter, from here on out, whenever you buy, say, a new sweater, magazine, kitchen gadget or clothing item for the kids, an old one must be discarded, recycled or donated in order to make room. This keeps the level of stuff below the clutter point by limiting total numbers, and it can also save you money by forcing you to think hard about your purchases. This is a great rule to instill in your kids early on — especially when they’re clamoring for a new toy or game.

5. Bin there, done that. Invest in a few attractive, labeled bins for homework, art supplies, and sports or other extracurricular equipment, and teach every family member to use them. (After all, should you really have to drop what you’re doing to find your kids’ notebooks or pencils at any given moment?) Near the door, have a rack or basket for shoes, plus one for sunglasses, sun hats and sunscreen in summer, or for gloves and scarves in winter. You’ll not only get things off the floor, you’ll save time getting out the door. Win-win!

How do you keep clutter at bay?  Tell us your favorite ideas in the Comments below!

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